What's New in VMware Horizon 8 Version 2206
Tom likes that you can now create multiple custom compute profiles (CPU, RAM, Cores per Socket) for a single golden image snapshot during desktop pool creation.
VMware released Horizon 8 version 2111 on July 19th, 2022.
Looking over the Release Notes for it, I did see a few interesting features in this release that I will discuss in this article.
As the last release of Horizon (2203) only contained changes to the agent and client and did not contain any changes to the Connection Server, I was anxious to see what this release would bring.
Connection Server and Horizon Console
The biggest new feature in this release it that you can now create multiple custom compute profiles (CPU, RAM, Cores per Socket) for a single golden image snapshot during desktop pool creation. This will be a boon to those that have users with different hardware needs but still would like to use the same software stack. This change will greatly simplify and streamline the management of virtual desktops.
An interesting feature is that you can archives the virtual disks of selected dedicated or floating Instant Clone desktops VMware. This will come in handy if you have or suspect that a virtual desktop has been hacked or compromised. VMware is calling this "Forensic quarantine."
Another security feature is that session recording files can be encrypted into a .bin format so that it cannot be played from the file system.
Intel GPUs are starting to become more prevalent and as such this release supports HW encoding Intel 11th Generation Integrated Graphics and above (Tigerlake+).
This release removed Internet Explorer from the list of supported browsers for Horizon Console.
Horizon Agent for Linux
Horizon now official supports Ubuntu 22.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Workstation 8.6 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Server 8.6 Linux distribution.
I am a big fan of redirection, which offloads CPU tasks from the virtual desktop to the client, and I was happy to see that the Horizon Agent for Linux now supports Real-Time Audio-Video redirection, which includes both audio-in and webcam redirection of locally connected devices from the client system to the remote session.
vGPU Linux desktop now support a maximum resolution of 3840x2160 on one, two, three or four monitors configured in any arrangement. While non-vGPU desktop can support a maximum resolution of 3840x2160 on a single monitor only.
Looking at the list of VMware Horizon REST APIs (KB 84155), I didn't see any versioning of the APIs so I am unsure of what new APIs have been added.
Of all the new features in 2206 the three that I find most interesting and will be exploring further are:
- Different hardware profiles for instant clone desktops.
- Support for Intel GPUs
- Support for Real-Time Audio-Video redirection for Linux desktops
In my next article, I will document my process of updating my Horizon 8 environment to 2111, and share screen captures of some of the items that have changed. This release of Horizon can be downloaded from VMware Customer Connect.
Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 30 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 20 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware in Staff and Senior level positions. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on X @vDoppler.